Performative, Poems


I remember listening
to my grandparents converse
in rapid fire Sindhi
When I was at their house,
In the summer of 2003
Meanings lost in translation
I was in agony.

I remember being confused,
Not understanding anything
But being fascinated with the sounds
The emphasis
The accent
The shape of the words
I was in awe

I  remember the first wedding
I danced at,
Copying my cousins’ erratic movements
And then smooth ones
As they swayed to Damadam Mast  Qalandar 
Not knowing at the time,
That it was not a Hindu chant
But a Sufi one
I was in bliss

I remember my mother’s stories
Of her grandfather’s travels
From across a hostile border
Through adversity, surviving only off creativity
And gradually developing biases
Against the reasons for their forced move
That day, I was enlightened

I remember reading the news last night
Scrolling through the despair on Facebook
Of eight bombs in five days
In a country we claim to hate
But our tongues still speak the language of
Tongues now horrified into silence
And the haunting melodies of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar 
Ring in an empty, destroyed shrine now.


5 Things I Know to be True

1. Cinnamon rolls are edible happiness and nostalgia

2. Being as colourful as possible is a guaranteed way to feel positive

3. The ocean is calming, inspiring, thrilling, and exciting all together

4. Words are beautiful, poetic devices and wordplay are some of the greatest things to have come out of language

5. Reading is empowering



​After three whole months of suppressed sighs, subtle hints, snide remarks 

and secret exclamations of great exasperation,

My mother asked me

To clean my room

Now if you’re anything like me, 

A master procrastinator but also a neat freak with a violent fear of failure,

Then you’ll know, that this endeavour can throw up many combinations of differing situations with unpredictable possibilities-

Cathartic cleaning, new discoveries, or perhaps a space even more untidy than it was originally.

And it was bearing these in mind that at first I halted, 

but then decided to proceed undaunted, 

excited to see what exactly haunted 

the rears of the packed drawers that still taunted me with cubic units of space I needed but could not fill

And I’m sure glad I did because barely two minutes in, I discovered

Ten unfinished canvases

Nine Model UN Placards

Eight lost hair ties (So THAT’S where they were!)

Seven pairs of metal earrings

Six twisted seashells

Five copies of my 12th marksheet (Attested, might I add)

Four forgotten polaroid pictures

Three alcohol store receipts (Definitely getting rid of those)

Two origami cranes

And one, one strong gust of nostalgia

I have learned that out of sight 

is not out of mind, 

and messy clothes, just like dynamite, or feelings, 

will not sort themselves out 

just because you shut them away 

and pretend that they do not exist 

and say “Look, ma, all tidy!” 

because we all know denial never ends well.

The thing is 

Like most things I try to do in life, 

I never completely finish cleaning because 

just like the way the ocean clambers up sand dunes and 

claims them for itself, 

I embark upon miscellaneous mess piles,

 and when I retreat, 

there are seashells in the wake of my withdrawal, 

titbits from different time zones, 

homes to creatures of memory that have long passed on.

My mind is like an ocean, turbulent and destructive, 

yet sustenance and home for certain beings only, 

perpetually pulled by conflicting currents, 

and perhaps this is what always dooms my cathartic cleansing to fail, 

because if your head is in a mess 

then you can only fold clothes and throw away candy wrappers for so much long

before drifting off into another whirlwind of thought-

But I’ll save cleaning my brain

For another time, 

because each time I try, 

the first thing I discover 

is a collection of unfinished poems

including this one.